Achieving Tesco Mum of the Year: Emma Salisbury

Emma Salisbury MOTY 2015

Emma Salisbury has worked relentlessly to raise £400,000 to pay for research and the world’s first clinical trial for a gene replacement therapy to combat a rare disease called choroideremia. Choroideremia attacks the eyes, it is an inherited eye condition that destroys eyesight.

Emma’s first contact with this disease was when her son was diagnosed. Tommy was only four. Emma knew she was a carrier of the gene and had hoped Tommy had escaped the inherited condition that made her grandfather blind at 38.

Emma was spurred into a fight, a race against time to find a treatment to save Tommy’s sight. Together with her mum, Dot Grindley, they decided to hold a coffee morning for choroideremia. They invited friends and were amazed at the response. They raised £2,500 in two hours.

Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund was born and is very much a family affair. Emma’s husband Paul, 44, and children Amelia, 16, Tommy, 14, and four-year-old Johnny are all in it together and to date £400,000 has been raised for ground-breaking research at Imperial College London.

The money has been raised from coffee mornings, marathons, golf days and discos and has been invested in the world’s first clinical trial for choroideremia.

Thanks to the Salisbury team efforts a treatment for the condition, which leaves sufferers around the world blind by their 40s, could be available within the next five years.

The judges said: Emma’s determination and tenacity are extraordinary and will positively impact people all around the world.

Fight for Sight helped Emma and Paul find out more about Tommy’s condition and put them in touch with the scientist who was researching a treatment at Imperial College London. “Paul and I went to see the researcher Miguel Seabra,” says Emma. “He was amazing and, by the time we came out, we really felt there was a bit of hope.”

and so began Emma’s fundraising the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund was started in 2005, with the support of Fight for Sight.

Professor MacLaren said British researchers had only been able to lead the world thanks to Tommy’s Fund.

Read the full story on Tesco Living and about the other Tesco #MumoftheYear finalists

2015 will be the 10th Mum of the Year Awards 

Tesco has awarded over 80 ordinary mums who have done extraordinary things for others. 

Tesco MOTY blogger badge



  1. February 5, 2015 / 11:52 AM

    It’s awful that such tragedies are necessary to make such important work happen, but inevitably it is people who are personally affected who feel spurred on to make change happen. I really hope all her hard work pays off.

    • February 6, 2015 / 10:35 PM

      I hear you Helen and am watching you closely, praying that your work will be seen and produce the results you need and are looking for. Don’t give up xx

  2. February 5, 2015 / 12:05 PM

    Oh my, what an amazing woman. I am enjoying reading about the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards, they are all so inspiring.

    • February 6, 2015 / 10:36 PM

      Aren’t they just? Such ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

  3. February 5, 2015 / 2:55 PM

    It always amazes me the things some people do for charity – what a truly inspirational lady!

    • February 6, 2015 / 10:37 PM

      I can’t wait to meet her, it’s such an inspiring case.

  4. February 5, 2015 / 5:40 PM

    Goodness how inspiring. That is such a huge achievement. Wonderful.

  5. February 5, 2015 / 9:30 PM

    Wow, what a fantastic achievement… An amazing amount of money and a fantastic promise for the future! xx

    • February 6, 2015 / 10:38 PM

      Just goes to show what someone is capable of when pushed. Amazing lady

  6. February 5, 2015 / 11:02 PM

    An amazing lady raising an epic amount! Well done to her!

  7. February 5, 2015 / 11:03 PM

    such hard work and commitment, what an amazing lady

  8. February 6, 2015 / 6:32 AM

    Gosh, what an incredible woman. How inspiring. It’s astonishing how much one person can achieve isn’t it? xx

    • February 6, 2015 / 10:39 PM

      It is, when one person sets their mind to something it can be done and this is such an important message to everyone out there.

  9. February 6, 2015 / 8:59 PM

    Very inspirational lady! Good luck to her and the rest!

  10. February 6, 2015 / 10:54 PM

    Emma sounds like such a strong and motivated woman and mother – lovely to see that’s been recognised x

  11. February 9, 2015 / 2:34 PM

    I’m definitely in awe of people who have enough passion and energy to drive them on to do more for everyone, not just themselves. Lovely to hear it’s a family/team effort too x

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